Cleaning With Food Stamps – Homemade Washing Soda

Full disclosure: this post includes a handful of affiliate links, which I do benefit financially from. Thanks to those of you who opt to support me and this blog by buying through the links!

Since washing soda [sometimes called soda ash, scientific name = sodium carbonate] is one of the ingredients we’ll use the most, and sometimes hard to find in some areas [and since it’s possible for my food stamps to cover it] we’ll start off this series with how to make it ourselves! It’s inedible, which means food stamps won’t cover it, but it’s dead easy to make with FS-friendly items.

Believe it or not, some serious science goes into making this stuff. I have no idea how to explain what any of it is, but you can read all about it over here from Penny, the lovely author of Penniless Parenting. The end of it is that basically if you take baking soda, and expose it to high heat, over time some magic science-y stuff happens that makes it release carbon dioxide and turn into washing soda. Continue reading


Cleaning With Food Stamps – YES YOU CAN!

Full disclosure: this post includes a handful of affiliate links, which I do benefit financially from. Thanks to those of you who opt to support me and this blog by buying through the links!

I’ve been sitting on this for almost as long as I’ve been sitting on my cookbook, and I’m super excited because it’s totally doable!


STAY WITH ME. I know that there are a LOT of blogs out there posting recipes and how-to’s for making your own cleaning products, but hear me out. I’ve done a LOT of research, and I’m confident that there aren’t any recipe collections, and in some cases, any recipes AT ALL out there like these. I’ve taken great care to not to just cut and paste from other sources, and I’ve looked up and learned WAY more about cleaning ingredients than I ever thought I’d want to know. And I’m passing all the best parts on to you! Aren’t I awesome? XD

Now I have to confess, there are a handful of ingredients that you can’t actually buy with food stamps because, well, they’re not edible. [Sorry friends, you can’t eat dish soap, shampoo or laundry detergent. Try to contain your disappointment.] But these ingredients are still super inexpensive, and I’ll show you were to get them [mostly Amazon, it’s the easiest and cheapest source, after all] but for the most part, food stamps will cover it.

For those who are still worried, yes, I’m also including options that are completely food-stamp/SNAP-benefit friendly. I totally get that money is tight for lots of folks, so fret not, friends – your house can yet be clean!

No matter what, all of these ingredients are super inexpensive, readily available, environmentally friendly and biodegradable, and the recipes/batches themselves cost literally CENTS to make.

The best part – I’ve stripped all your favorite household cleaners down to their barest of bones – JUST the active ingredients. No fillers, harsh chemicals, or any other unnecessary fluff-n-stuff. Just the good, hard-workin’, keep-earning parts.

This series will cover the following: [including but certainly not limited to – I welcome requests!]

  • Laundry Detergent, Liquid & Powdered – Brightens & Whitens WITHOUT Borax!
  • Mirror/Window Cleaner-&-Fabric Softener-In-One… WHAAAT!?
  • Homemade OxiClean® Stain Fighting Laundry Booster [No Liquid Peroxide]
  • Homemade Washing Soda
  • Homemade Scented Purex® Laundry Crystals
  • Dishwasher Detergent & Homemade Finish® Rinse [No Castile Soap]
  • Homemade LemiShine® Dishwashing Booster
  • Hand Washing Dish Soap That Actually Works – No Residue!
  • Hand Soap [NON-Antibacterial]
  • Sanitizing Floor Cleaner & All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Reusable Mop Pads & A Swiffer Wet-Jet® Hack
  • Cleaning “Stink-B-Gone” Toilet Fizzies
  • Homemade Clinging Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Lemon Dusting Spray & Reusable Cloths
  • Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner [No Castile Soap, ACV or Baking Soda Here!]
  • Bonus week: How I Went Paper-Less & Saved Over $70 Per Month!

The ingredients all come from this list: [bonus points if you already have any of these around]

  • Edibles:
    • water [tap, unless specified as distilled]
    • white vinegar
    • lemon juice & peels
    • baking soda
    • kosher salt
    • citric acid
    • coconut milk [I have a recipe for making this bad boy too!]
    • olive oil
  • In-edibles:
    • castile soap [I’m partial to Dr Bronner’s]
    • Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds
    • washing soda [technically inedible, but we’ll make it from edible ingredients]
    • sodium percarbonate
    • epsom salts [also available at WalMart and Target, if you’re into that sort of thing 😉 ]
    • essential oils [completely optional, especially if using scented soaps – doTERRA and Mountain Rose Herbs are both great brands, my favorite scents are orange, lemon and rose]
    • My Super Secret Ingredient – stay tuned to learn what it is! Or cheat and click here to find out early. Either way, you’ll be floored at the things you can do with it!

Hmm, did I miss anything? I think that’s everything in the series… anyway, tune in next week for the next installment! Or better yet, just subscribe [form at the bottom of the screen] and get the updates sent right to your inbox – trust me, these are updates you’re not going to want to miss. Yes, I’m THAT proud of them!

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Confession Time: When I Told You Why My Son Isn’t In School Yet, I Lied.

Snark alert: This post is considerably more, eh, acidic than my typical personal post – ye of the weak stomach and/or wobbly temper, leave now or forever hold your peace.

Truth: I didn’t lie to ALL of you. Some of you already know my guilty [or not-so-guilty] secret. Especially if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time.


Brief backstory: my boy is five right now. His birthday is in June. All his friends [at least the ones that are also five] are in kindergarten. Lots of their moms have asked me why he’s not also in kindergarten – instead of telling the truth and dealing with the inevitable awkward conversation that follows, I usually tell them, “Oh he’s a June birthday, so we kept him home an extra year so he won’t be a full year younger than all other kids in his grade. Better to be older than younger, right?”

Admittedly, this is only half a lie. Because it’s half of the truth. I AM keeping him home, and he WOULD be a year older by the time I start him in public school, but the whole truth is…

He’s NEVER going to public school.

[whew] Glad to have that off my chest. Continue reading